These easy Instant Pot fish tacos are a healthy and delicious dinner. In about 30 minutes you can have a taco dinner on the table for your family, even if you start with frozen fish. Includes recipe for garlic aioli sauce.
Tacos are a favorite weeknight dinner at my house, whether it is Taco Tuesday or some other day of the week! Tacos are a fast and easy dinner that is kid friendly.
And using an Instant Pot is one of my favorite ways to make taco filling. Whether it is Instant Pot taco beef or Instant Pot salsa chicken or these fish tacos the pressure cooker is a great way to make tacos even easier.
Why You Will Love Instant Pot Fish Tacos
- While many fish taco recipes use fried fish this recipe makes fish tacos healthier by steaming the fish.
- You don’t have to remember to defrost the fish since this recipe works well with frozen fish.
- Tilapia, cod, halibut, catfish or pollock all work well for this recipe, or some other mild white fish.
- You can use the taco spiced fish in other dishes too – make burrito bowls or nachos.
- Eating seafood is good for you.
- While the fish cooks in the pressure cooker you have time to get your taco topping ready and make a quick garlic aioli sauce.
- Fish – I usually use tilapia because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to find frozen. But any mild white fish would work well. Cod, halibut, pollock or haddock all work well.
- Taco seasoning – Use store bought taco seasoning or make your own mix.
Lemon Garlic Aioli Sauce
To go along with these tacos I make a simple aioli sauce. Aioli sauce is the perfect companion to fish tacos. The garlic and lemon in this sauce enhance the flavor of the fish and give it an amazing taste.
Aioli Sauce Ingredients
- Mayonnaise – Technically aioli sauce is different from mayonnaise because it is an emulsion made from olive oil instead of eggs. But realistically the easiest way to get aioli flavor and texture is to start with mayonnaise. So since this is simple weeknight dinner that is how I make it!
- Garlic – Lots of fresh minced garlic give the sauce a garlicky taste.
- Lemon – Lemon and fish are delicious, even when the fish is in tacos. And it is worth the effort to zest and juice a lemon for this recipe. If you don’t have a fresh lemon you can use bottled lemon juice and skip the lemon zest.
- Salt and pepper
Step by Step Instructions
1. Prepare the Tilapia
Put the tilapia fillets on top of a sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the fish fillets. Try to keep the fish in a single layer as much as you can while still making a foil packet that will fit in the Instant Pot.
Then pu another sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the fish and crimp the edges to seal the fish inside a foil packet.
When you are done cooking the fish it will fall apart and be fork tender. If you don’t seal it in aluminum foil it will fall apart as you try to take it out of the Instant Pot.
2. Cook the Tilapia
Add 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and then add the trivet to the inner pot. Place the foil packet of fish on top of the trivet so it can steam.
3. Make the Sauce
While the fish is cooking in the Instant Pot make the lemon garlic aioli sauce. To make the sauce first juice and zest the lemon.
Then put the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the minced garlic along with 1 Tablespoon each of the lemon zest and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk everything together.
Refrigerate the aioli sauce until you are ready to serve the tacos. Get ready any other taco toppings your family likes, such as cheese, coriander or salsa.
Once the Instant Pot is done cooking do a quick release of the pressure. Take the foil packet out of the Instant Pot with tongs and open it up.
You shouldn’t need to do much to shred your fish, it should come apart easily with a fork. Transfer it to a bowl and serve your fish tacos.
How to Serve
Serve these Instant Pot fish tacos with your favorite taco shell. The fish is delicious in hard shell or soft shell tacos, or in lettuce wraps if you prefer a low carb taco.
Add whatever other toppings you like and drizzle on some aioli sauce. Here are some delicious topping ideas.
How to Store
These fish tacos are best eaten right away. If you have leftovers you can refrigerate them and use them for lunch, but the tacos probably won’t taste as good as fresh.
Using Frozen Fish
This recipe works well with frozen fish as long as the fish is frozen in individual fillets. A big clump of fish fillets all frozen together won’t be thawed in the cooking time given.
The timing for cooking the fish will vary depending on the type of fish you use and whether or not the fish is frozen. Specifics are given in the recipe card below.
- 1-pound frozen tilapia
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
Lemon Garlic Aioli Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 lemon or 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Place your tilapia fillets on top of a sheet of aluminum. Sprinkle each fillet with taco seasoning. Keep the fillets in a single layer only overlapping if needed so the foil packet fits into the Instant Pot. Put another piece of aluminum foil over top and seal the fish into a foil packet.
2. Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the instant pot. Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot. Place your aluminum foil covered tilapia fillets on top of the trivet.
3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker making sure the sealing ring is in place and the valve is closed.
4. Set the Instant Pot on Manual, high pressure, for the time indicated below, based whether your fish is frozen or fresh and how thick it is:
Fresh Fish less than 1 inch thick : 5 minutes
Frozen Fish less than 1 inch thick : 18 minutes
Fresh Fish more than 1 inch thick: 10 minutes
Frozen Fish more than 1 inch thick : 25 minutes
5. While the fish cooks make the aioli sauce.
6. First zest and juice the lemon. If not using a fresh lemon use bottled lemon juice and skip the zest.
7. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
8. Once the pressure cooker is done cooking do a quick pressure release. Take the foil packet out of the pressure cooker using tongs and unwrap.
9. The fish should flake easily with a fork and be ready to add to your favorite taco shell. Add other toppings as desired and drizzle with the aioli sauce.
Tilapia, cod, halibut, catfish or pollock all work well for this recipe, or other mild white fish.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 531mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 20g
Nutrition facts are estimates.